We can serve as a mediator between the owner and the general contractor (or between a subcontractor and a general contractor) with regard to issues involving disputes over quality of workmanship or change order issues or payment issues for small jobs and for large jobs, for private contracts and for commercial and public contracts. Using the court system is very expensive and may not be realistic for smaller disputes. And, it may be difficult to get an attorney willing to handle a small case on a contingency fee. Simply put, it is not difficult to have the attorneys’ fees and court costs equal or exceed the amount in controversy with small cases. Unfortunately, the legal steps an attorney has to take with regard to a litigation do not change significantly between cases for a lot of money and cases for more modest claims.
Mediation is a procedure where the two parties hire a ‘neutral’ who will mediate the case. In this capacity, the neutral (mediator) is not considered to be the attorney for either party. That simply means that the owner and the general contractor (or the subcontractor and the general contractor) will get together at an office and go through a process whereby the mediator assists the parties in reaching an agreement. Mediation does not mean that you lose any rights to go to court. By statute, what happens at a mediation - and all negotiations at a mediation - can not be mentioned or used in any subsequent court action. And, any party can just stop the mediation and walk away without penalty if so-inclined. A typical mediation takes up to four hours. No decision is issued by the mediator and the mediator does not decide "who is right". The mediator simply assists the parties with finding a possible solution to the problem, hopefully saving the parties from the expense - and unpleasantness - of litigation.
There are many excellent mediators and mediation services in Boston. Mediations through mediation services tend to have a lot of fees associated with them in addition to the actual cost of the mediator. And, engaging a Boston mediator usually results in paying ‘Boston’ prices. Getting into Boston with traffic and parking issues is time-consuming and hard on the nerves. Our charges for these types of services are more than competitive with Boston prices and will usually result in a substantially lesser charge to the parties due to our having a better control with overhead issues and a more realistic understanding of what such services should cost, particularly for the smaller cases. Again, our firm can serve in this capacity and will commit to a flat fee for the mediation. (No hourly billing!)
And, if you need an attorney to represent you at a mediation (or, for that matter, with arbitration or litigation), we have a lot of experience in doing so.